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eDynamic Learning Nursing Assistant 1a Course

Nursing Assistant 1a: Introduction

If you ever wanted a career that is centered around the care of others and that directly impacts the most vulnerable populations, then it’s time to explore what it means to be a Nursing Assistant. This role can be the first step on your nursing career ladder or into other healthcare positions. Learn career options, ethical and legal responsibilities, anatomy and physiology, patient care, and safety. Discover what it takes to start your journey into this highly needed field.

Review Course Outline

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: The Nursing Assistant Role

You are beginning a journey that will likely change and continue to develop over the course of your life. Becoming a nursing assistant is an important first step in your career whether it’s the path you remain on or if you decide to continue on to other healthcare opportunities. You’ll learn about the day-to-day responsibilities of a nursing assistant and the importance of working as part of a team. You will also begin to understand the importance of patient care and how to manage the complexities of working with people. And of course, we’ll explore the various career options in health care. Let’s get started – there’s a lot to cover!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify education and certification requirements of a nursing assistant
  • Describe scope of practice and daily duties of a nursing assistant
  • Describe professional qualities and ethical behavior of a nursing assistant, as well as ways of managing conflict
  • Define delegation and identify the five “rights” of delegation
  • Identify potential employers and career paths for nursing assistants, as well as how to seek employment opportunities and ways of gaining additional education and experience in the workplace

Unit 2: Communication Skills

Being able to communicate with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team is an important part of being a good nursing assistant. And while there are ways to make communication more effective and make sure your message is heard, barriers to communication also exist. You may have a patient who speaks another language, is hard of hearing, or is confused — observing and reporting observations understandably becomes crucial to keeping things up and running. After all, communicating with coworkers, as well as patients and families, is essential to being part of the healthcare team. When communication is smooth, everyone wins!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain ways to effectively communicate when part of the healthcare team
  • Describe ways of showing courteous and compassionate care when communicating
  • List and explain barriers to effective communication
  • Identify medical terms and use terminology effectively
  • Understand and use appropriate methods to report observations

Unit 3: Personal Patient Care

Have you ever imagined yourself being in charge of mission control, reporting everything that needs to be noted, and relaying crucial information to key players? As a Nursing Assistant, this will likely play out daily as much of your time will consist of helping your patients with daily self-care. And understandably, tasks such as bathing and feeding—among others—will put you in the best position to observe and report any changes or events to the rest of the healthcare team. Of course, this responsibility is not to be taken lightly. After all, providing daily care is essential for a patient’s cleanliness and good health—things that will ultimately help the patient feel better and recover more quickly!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explore daily personal care needs for the patient
  • Identify types of baths a nursing assistant may provide
  • Understand the importance of oral care
  • Describe nutrition for the patient and assist with meals
  • Explain how a nursing assistant helps with elimination needs

Unit 4: Safety in Healthcare

As a nursing assistant, patient safety and your own safety is a top priority. Together, we’ll learn about ways to protect yourself and your patients. We’ll also explore how infections are spread in healthcare settings, measures you can take to help prevent disease, and how to help patients with moving and transferring. Finally, we’ll consider what to do when faced with different types of common emergencies. Armed with the proper knowledge and procedures, you’ll be able to take comfort knowing that both you and those in your care are safe and sound.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe standard precautions and other infection control measures
  • Explain the importance of safety and safe practices in the workplace, as required by regulatory agencies
  • Understand protective body mechanics and how to avoid injury when on the job
  • Explore how to move, lift, and transfer patients, as well as how to assist with ambulation
  • List types of common emergencies and describe actions to take when dealing with an emergency

Unit 5: Anatomy and Physiology I

Anatomy and physiology are the structures and functions of the human body. Systems are dependent on the support of others and can’t simply work on their own. Together, we’ll review how the musculoskeletal system provides support and structure for the body while the cardiovascular system circulates oxygen and nutrients. We’ll also cover the amazing ways in which the endocrine system regulates all body functions and how the gastrointestinal system takes in food and turns it into nutrients — let’s go!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the structure of a cell
  • Describe how cells make up tissues, then organs, then systems
  • Discover how organ systems work together
  • Investigate the anatomy and physiology, as well as common disorders, of the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, and the gastrointestinal system

Unit 6: Anatomy and Physiology II

As you’re aware, body systems work together and cannot function without each other. The integumentary system includes the skin, hair, and nails, providing the first line of defense against injury or infection—impressive, huh? The nervous system is how we perceive our environment and use the senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch, whereas the respiratory system provides oxygen to cells and tissues of the body. The urinary system performs the very important function of filtering and eliminating waste and, finally, the reproductive system is responsible for the creation of more humans. Does that sound like a lot? Don’t worry—together, we’ll explore each of these incredible systems!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe how the integumentary system functions as the first line of defense for the body and list common disorders of the integumentary system
  • Explain how the nervous system functions to regulate other body systems and how it processes stimuli from the environment through the senses and list disorders of the nervous system.
  • Illustrate how the respiratory system provides oxygen to the body and list common diseases and disorders of the respiratory system
  • Discuss the function of the urinary system and list common disorders of the urinary system
  • Contrast female and male reproductive system anatomy and human sexuality and list common diseases and disorders of the reproductive system

Unit 7: Caring for Geriatric Patients

Nursing assistants will spend much of their time providing geriatric care, or health care for older adults, and this population requires specific attention to meet changing physical and psychological needs. Understandably, caring for these patients requires sensitivity and patience—older adults should, of course, be valued for their age and life experiences and be respected as they approach the end of their lives. Consequently, care provided should be directed to both the patient and the family, with special awareness of the grief process.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Define stages of growth and development, and apply understanding to the developmental stage of older adult or geriatric patients
  • Describe physical, psychological, and behavioral age-related changes that occur in the body
  • Identify safety measures to apply when caring for elderly patients
  • Discuss end of life care, stages of grief, and planning care for a patient who is dying

Unit 8: Legal and Ethical Issues for Nursing Assistants

Nursing assistants face many complex situations in their daily care of patients. There are legal considerations where the law dictates what must be done, and of course, there are more complex scenarios in which ethics come into play. We’ll uncover how nursing assistants are in an especially unique position to protect patients and how they can ensure their patient’s safety in all types of situations. After all, maintaining an environment in which people feel comfortable is one of the most important parts of a Nursing Assistant’s job.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Discuss legal issues that may arise while performing nursing assistant duties
  • Explain ethics and ethical issues in health care
  • Investigate the management of risk in health care and how protecting patient safety can lead to the prevention of injury and loss
  • Examine documentation of unusual occurrences and how a nursing assistant functions as a mandated reporter

Required Materials


  • Cell phone, tablet, or computer camera with sound and video recording abilities
  • A doll or stuffed animal to use as a patient
  • Various props to demonstrate proper patient care (wash cloth, razor, towel, feeding utensils, fake food items, paper for recording measurements, etc.)
  • Materials to build a model (paper, cardboard, clay, markers, etc.)



  • Slideshow creation software
  • Word processing software



  • Paper, poster board, markers
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